Welcome to America’s Newsletter from Tag The Flag, the best morning newsletter on the internet, bringing you nonpartisan news and every view of the Red, White, and Blue. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
📌 BULLETIN BOARD
Stay Safe Everyone: Winter storms across the US could make Thanksgiving travel nearly impossible.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Trump Ordered Pentagon Not to Oust Navy SEAL From Elite Unit
President Trump ordered the Pentagon not to remove a Navy SEAL at the center of a high-profile war crimes case from the elite commando unit, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Monday.
- From the left-leaning New York Times: “Mr. Esper’s confirmation of the order from Mr. Trump is the latest turn in an extraordinary series of events that pitted the president against his senior military leadership over the fate of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, the SEAL who was convicted of posing for photographs with the body of a teenage Islamic State captive in American custody.”
- From the right-leaning Daily Mail: “Trump defended his pardon by pointing to President Barack Obama’s commutation of former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s sentence, while also teeing off on the Beau Bergdahl affair. Bergdahl was freed in a prisoner swap after serving five years being detained by the Taliban. Manning had her sentence commuted after serving seven years following a leak conviction.”
Rudy Call: Federal Subpoenas Seek Information on Giuliani’s Consulting Business
In recent weeks, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and FBI have sent subpoenas and other requests to potential witnesses seeking records and information related to Mr. Giuliani and two of his associates the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The requests indicate a broad federal investigation into possible money laundering, obstruction of justice and campaign-finance violations.
- Left-leaning NBC notes that Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- The right-leaning Washington Examiner echoed Giuliani’s importance to the impeachment inquiry noting that several witnesses decried Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine as he attempted to find information on the Bidens.
Here We Go McGahn: Round Two & Why Don McGahn Matters
A federal judge ruled Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify under subpoena in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry. Why it matters: Axios notes that McGahn was one of the Mueller investigation’s most important witnesses, featuring heavily in the section of the special counsel’s report about potential obstruction of justice by Trump. Zoom out: Politico points out that this could put pressure on other reluctant Trump administration witnesses to testify including former national security adviser John Bolton. What’s next: The Justice Department will appeal the ruling.
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
New shares of China’s e-commerce goliath Alibaba will start trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Last week the company raised $13 billion in a secondary offering. It matters for two reasons: For starters, the stock sale was the largest of 2019. More importantly, however, is the symbolic value The Economist notes. It pleases the Chinese government, which wants to reassure investors about the financial hub’s allure, despite the unrest. Barrons also pointed out that despite the protests and violence in Hong Kong, worries about slowing Chinese growth and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, investors are ready to bet on China’s largest internet retailer.
Dresden museum heist thieves steal $1.1 billion in ‘priceless’ jewels
Police in Germany were investigating Monday after professional thieves staged a daring early morning $1.1 billion heist at one of the world’s oldest museums. The two crooks made off with three “priceless” ensembles of early 18th-century jewelry in diamond, ruby, and emerald on display at the Dresden Green Vault, which was closed at the time, Reuters reported. Why it matters: The Times is calling the heist the ‘largest postwar art theft’. – The Times
Hong Kong elections seen as win for pro-democracy candidates after massive turnout
Just a day after Hong Kongers cast ballots overwhelmingly for pro-democracy candidates, handing them control of 17 of the region’s 18 district councils, authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing have taken markedly different tacks in responding to the landslide.
- Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, adopted a conciliatory tone pledging to respect the election’s results.
- China, on the other hand, responded by emphasizing that the city will always be ruled from Beijing, and warning against further protest violence. NPR
Super interesting longer read: China’s unruly periphery resents the Communist Party’s heavy hand.
It was merger mania on Wall Street yesterday. Across all transactions, there were over $60 billion in announced deals. Here are the main mergers that investors are talking about. LVMH scooped up Tiffany for $16.2 billion. Charles Schwab will acquire TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion all-stock deal. eBay said it agreed to sell its StubHub ticketing business to Swiss ticket reseller Viagogo for $4.05 billion in cash. Novartis agreed to buy The Medicines Co. and its promising heart drug for $9.7 billion. Elsewhere, Uber made headlines after it lost its license to operate in London, one of its most important markets. Why it matters: it’s another thorn in the side for the ride-sharing company that is both trying to improve its public image and recover ground since it’s IPO. Prior to its public debut, Uber was valued north of $100 billion. Its market capitalization now is just under $50 billion. – CNBC / Yahoo Finance
Krzyzewski Sets Record & Duke solidifies No. 1
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski set the record for wins coaching a No. 1 team when his top-ranked Blue Devils knocked off California and Georgetown on back-to-back nights to win the 2K Empire Classic. He will have a chance to add to his 218-34 mark this week. State of play: the Blue Devils (6-0) solidified their tight grip on the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll Monday. They received 53 first-place votes from the 65-member media panel that regularly covers college basketball, easily out-distancing second-place Louisville. – AP
These two tech companies are worth more than an entire index
Boosted by optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal and sturdy profit growth, tech-giants Apple and Microsoft have helped buoy the broader technology sector while they vie for the title of largest U.S. firm the Wall Street Journal writes. Here’s a look at just how influential the pair has become:
- Apple and Microsoft together are now twice as large as the entire energy group. The sector includes stalwarts such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron.
- The tech duo has also eclipsed the combined market size of all the companies in the Russell 2000.
- Lastly, together, Apple and Microsoft are also larger than the 197 smallest companies combined in the S&P 500.
Here’s the thing: Despite worries the two tech stalwarts have rallied too far, they are still less expensive than peers such as Amazon based on profits in the past year. Apple is also cheaper than the broader technology sector. – WSJ (subscription)
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1941: FDR establishes modern Thanksgiving holiday
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Further reading: The Most Popular Thanksgiving Dishes in Each State